The action resulted in Helfferich's being condemned to pay a small fine (the German law does not admit of any damages or penalties for slander); the court, however, in its judgment took the line that Helfferich's allegations regarding Erzberger's corrupt business practices and untruthful statements on the part of Erzberger were justified.
The publication of this letter, and later of other similar documents, naturally created a great sensation; and the government ultimately appointed a special commission of three judges to inquire into the charges and allegations that were made.
William Arthur had married Malvina Stone, an American girl who lived at the time of the marriage in Canada, and the numerous changes of the family residence afforded a basis for allegations in 1880 that the son Chester was born not in Vermont, but in Canada, and was therefore ineligible for the presidency.
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